E commerce integration involves determining the type of shopping cart to be used and selecting a payment processor. The shopping cart integration will depend on your existing sites structure, whether you want to use a pre developed shopping cart or you are building from the ground up. New sites can be easier to integrate because the interface can be built to accommodate the store integration right from the get go. If you are using an existing site, you may be required to modify the interface extensively to accommodate the cart functionality. The full extent of the integration will also depend on whether you are using a third party payment service such as PayPal or 2checkout.com or interfacing directly into your bank account. Seattle Web Design has some nice tips on this.
Third party services such as PayPal and 2checkout.com are much easier to integrate. This is because you do not necessary have to create a shopping cart or modify the layout extensively. The integration wizard provided by PayPal does not require extensive coding knowledge. The ‘buy now’ buttons can be placed throughout the site with minimal structural interference. There is no payment gateway integration which also simplifies the process. Most of these services provide extensive FAQ’s, documentation, email and telephone support. For the more advanced options, a sandbox is provided so that the site can be tested in an isolated environment before sending the e commerce integration live.
Payment gateway services are offered through your local bank or by companies such as Worldpay that interface directly with your bank account. This is more involved. Firstly, you need to either build the shopping cart form ground up or use software provided by the service provider or a third party provider. Usually, the provider can recommend a solution. If you are not code savvy, you will need the specialized services of a developer to assist with this process. Extensive functional, stress and security testing needs to be performed for this solution. The provider can usually recommend an approved integration partner if you do not have an in-house technical support team.
Before you perform shopping cart integration it is important to know the technical requirements of the solution. Coding and platform compatibility can be an issue. It is recommended that you examine your architecture, seek the feedback of the solution provider or hire someone who can consult with you on this issue. This will allow you to establish guidelines to avoid selecting solution misfit or getting into cost overruns.